Life insurance policies are bought to help loved ones pay for funeral expenses, cover debts and provide income when a person dies. Life insurance agents help clients navigate the complexities of different insurance products and find a policy that fits their needs. You can return to our home page.

Life insurance agents are licensed professionals who can work independently or “carry” life insurance for a specific company. This article will discuss the skills, education, and licensing requirements needed to become a life insurance agent.

Education and Training

Choosing the right agent to work with is a critical step. Asking friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations is one way to find an agent with a strong reputation. In addition, you can look online for complaints or to see what products the agent is licensed to sell. Some agents are captive agents and represent only the policies of their parent company; others are independent life insurance agents who are able to sell multiple companies’ life insurance products.

Regardless of whether an agent is captive or independent, they must obtain a state license before selling life insurance. According to Kaplan Financial Education, this typically entails taking classes and passing an exam. For agents who are interested in advancing their careers, earning a bachelor’s degree or pursuing professional designations can be beneficial. 

Licenses and Certifications

Insurance sales agents can work with a variety of policies, including life insurance, annuities, and health insurance. Each of these types of policies has specific licensing requirements, which vary by state. To become licensed in a particular area, one must complete the appropriate courses and obtain a license from each state in which they wish to sell.

Most states require that potential insurance agents take and pass a state exam before they can begin selling insurance. To prepare for the exam, students must usually take pre-licensure education courses. These are usually available through a third-party financial education company and can be taken online, which is helpful for those with busy schedules.

In addition, some states may require fingerprinting to be completed before a potential agent can receive their license. To find out about the process in a specific state, it is best to visit the Department of Insurance or the National Insurance Producer Registry website for information and cost estimates.

Job Duties

Life insurance agents are responsible for providing clients with information and suggesting the best possible insurance products. They also act as intermediaries between the clients and the insurance firms, and they offer excellent customer service to retain existing customers and gain new ones. They interview prospective clients to gather relevant data about them and sell life policies that payout on death, as well as annuities that pay an income at retirement. In addition, they analyze their clients’ current portfolios and make recommendations. They are also responsible for assisting their clients during the claims process.

They are paid a commission on the premium payments that their clients make. They can also earn additional bonuses and incentives from their companies for achieving sales targets or meeting certain performance milestones. In addition, they are often reimbursed for expenses related to their job, such as travel and dining costs. They may be employed by insurance agencies and brokerages or they can choose to become independent agents and sell multiple products.


Typically, life insurance agents work as full-time salaried employees for an agency or company. Their salary typically consists of base pay plus commissions. In some cases, if the agent is a captive agent, they may be limited to products offered by the particular insurance company they represent.

In the industry, it’s not uncommon for highly motivated and tenacious life insurance agents to make six-figure incomes. However, it’s not easy to survive in such a competitive career environment.

It’s also important to note that a life insurance agent’s commission rate for new policy sales is often front-loaded, with the first-year premiums earning the agent a much higher percentage of the policy’s value than that of renewals. This is because most people are not in a position to invest their money for a long period of time. It’s for this reason that buyers need to be careful of the type of product they select. Having an agent who can discuss the various products available and their merits with the buyer is a good idea. Browse the next article.